I'm basically looking for something like mp3tag but for ebooks - I have most of the baen free library downloaded, but its designed to be read off the cd, rather than copied onto ebooks, the files have cryptic filenames, and to make things more complicated, I'm going to need to convert them to epub. As such my requirements would be

  • I need to be able to throw a whole folder of mixed files into it
  • I need to be able to copy out .prc, .lit or .rb files and rename them based on the metadata for the file - ideally being able to tell it to save it into a format like /format/writer/title.ext - the source also has RTF (which look horrible and have no metadata) and HTML files IIRC but there's no metadata as far as I remember

  • I'd prefer something that runs on linux or windows, webapps are no good cause of sheer quantity, I'd like to avoid uploading several gigabytes of books, then downloading them again

Conversion would be optional, but I think calibre would handle that part fine, I just need to be able to rename them first

1 Answer 1


You already named it: Calibre does all that and more, when using its GUI. Though it's some time ago I did that – as I didn't want the auto-cataloging etc, but just a simple "file conversion". For the details:

  • It converts between a plethora of formats (the ones you named are covered)
  • Using the command line, you could do pretty anything "with a tiny little shell script"
  • it optionally even retrieves Metadata for you, including covers, if you give it author+title or an ISBN
  • runs on... Python. So :)

Calibre main screen Calibre Metadata
Calibre: Main screen, editing Metadata (Source: Calibreclick images for larger variants)

Bonus-points are an integrated eBook reader, and an integrated server giving you the possibility to browse your book collection not only from any device, but also access it as "catalog" from reader-apps supporting OPDS.

Calibre catalog Calibre eBook reader
Calibre: Catalog browser and integrated eBook-reader (Source: Calibreclick images for larger variants)

Calibre is included with most Linux distro's repositories. However, as they rarely keep track with development, the author recommends installing it manually. Downloads are available for Linux, OSX, and Windows (even as portable).

  • Care to add about the GUI batch rename? A screenshot would be good. Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 4:13
  • @Oxinabox As I wrote, I rarely use the GUI. I use Calibre almost daily, but as written, mainly via shell scripts I wrote myself.
    – Izzy
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 19:14
  • Eventually I just installed a plugin for the publisher all those ebooks were from, threw all the books in, filled in title and author, and let it autocomplete. Worked alright. Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 14:19

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